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Infertility is a real prick. No one doubts that. And parenting after infertility is full of pitfalls and emotions that parenting without having gone through infertility just doesn’t have. But that doesn’t mean it also doesn’t have it’s upsides…if you let happen it will.
See, it’s not all for naught. I’d rather not have gone through it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t pick out the good that came from living it. I’m not Wonder Woman. I’m just massively learned in not getting your way in this world when you want to. That lesson goes a long way.
Especially at 5 am when you’re up feeding two babies who don’t want to focus and eat and your allergies are acting up and there’s literally snot running down your face because you do not have a free hand. Literally.
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I was looking around Twitter last night and realized that most of the infertility/TTC people I follow have either gotten pregnant, had a baby or moved on to a childfree existence or adoption. While I’m thrilled for all of them, it makes me remember how long we’ve been on this road…how long these scars have marked my emotions.
IVF is totally different the second time around. I don’t feel as militant as I was the first time. If that makes sense. I’m not hopeless, but I just don’t feel the same fire in me. Maybe it’s because this IVF has not gone according to plan. Maybe it’s because the last one resulted in loss followed by loss and failure with the FETs. Either way, it’s different.
Maybe these emotions are all real, but they’re certainly made more heightened by the meds I’m on. I was cranky as all heck last night. And that crankiness turned into melancholy. Then I fell asleep.
Today is a new day.
Do you guys ever feel this way?
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So after my estradiol jumped last week, I was instructed to try and do three more nights of Lupron and retest. Knowing what happened last month, I wasn’t overly hopeful. Yet, when I got a headache that screamed “ESTROGEN HEADACHE” on Saturday, I started to get my hopes up…maybe it just needed an extra push.
Turns out my estradiol went up. The RE now thinks this may be a function of my body’s normal system and not a failure to downregulate. They also tested my progesterone and that was normal, indicating that I had not ovulated and did not have a producing cyst. There’s no real explanation for why this is happening.
Which is, as you may have guessed, the story of my freaking life.
So the RE (through my nurse) offered an option: start the stims and see how I react. We can always not go through with the retrieval if I don’t react properly. So that’s what I did last night.
For my own sake and record, I’m on 300 units of Follistim and 150 mg of Menapour. My Lupron was dropped from 10 units to 5 units.
I could combine some of these shots, but I chose not to. I am so worried that I’d screw something up. I’d rather just give myself three shots and at least have the peace of mind knowing that I didn’t mess it up in the mixing.
Onwards and upwards I guess…with a caveat like always. Nothing can be simple. There is no such thing as a green light with me. Everything is always stuck on yellow.
P.S. There’s a new post up at Dispatches from the (In)Fertility Wars…it’s One Woman’s Story about infertility and success.
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Lupron started last night! Although I started the birth control pills a few weeks ago, I feel like the first shot in an IVF cycle really makes it feel real. I felt like I should have had some confetti or something.
I feel like I’m going to get a “bonus” period from this down regulation. Last time I didn’t. But I’ve been crampy and bloated like it could happen any day. I hope the Lupron puts an end to that. In one sense, I know it doesn’t matter, but I just feel like it’s the principle of the matter.
I’ve also been extremely tired this week. Not sure if it’s the weather or what. But I started drinking more water and that seems to help some. It’s not a cure, but it’s a start. Plus, it’s something I should be doing anyhow.
Allergies have been in full force already. Stupid weather this year means it’s going to be a really rough allergy season for me. Not that my allergies only occur during one season, but they do worsen during the spring and fall. Last night I had one of my infamous “eyes swelling shut” incidents. It’s hard to fall asleep when it feels like you have something in your eye.
Onward and upward! Monday is the trial transfer. My previous RE didn’t do this, so I’m not sure all of what’s entailed, but I’m assuming it’s a lot like the real transfer, so I’m not worried. I just have to remember to drink a lot of water beforehand.
Have a great weekend!
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As I mentioned, we had our next second opinion scheduled last week. We got there early and, as expected, the doctor was running late. Not the best way to start off on the right foot, but it’s expected these days. Sadly.
It was kind of downhill from there. We met with him and he was nice enough, but it seemed to be the kind of nice that was not sincere. I felt a lot of forced laughter coming from inside and I just wasn’t comfortable. The next hour turned into a giant lesson about PCOS and insulin resistance…all things we already knew and told him that we knew. Nevertheless, the lesson continued. At one point as he was drawing a Venn diagram he stopped to ask if we knew what that was. Um…yeah…I went to school. Thanks.
So we get through the science lesson and when it comes to getting hard facts about what he’d do in our case, everything was answered with some form of this…
We’ll discuss that in your two-and-a-half-hour orientation.
Actually, no you won’t.
But I’m not there yet.
He starts talking a bit of specifics. He doesn’t think I should be on the synthroid. He mentioned my medical records earlier in the conversation, but at this point he questioned whether he reviewed them. (Nice.) I let him borrow my copy that I brought with me. He said he’d scan them and give them back to me.
So we got done with him. He insisted on giving me a hug. Awkward. Then he took us to another room where he said we’d meet with a member of his nursing staff. Two minutes later a gruff looking woman comes in, introduces herself briskly and then proceeds to ask if we have any questions.
Questions about what? The science lesson?
When we said no, she stood up and took us to the front desk. There, the receptionist who had been rather gruff with us herself started handing me papers. She then told me she was going to hand me a list of pricing for the IVF.
“We have coverage under our insurance,” I said.
“Not everything is covered,” she replied. And this was accurate before. Certain things insurance won’t cover. I get that.
But then came this…
Not only was the clinic trying to charge an extra $40 if you needed to see them on the weekend for monitoring (yeah, right!) but their lab—owned and operated by the doctor himself—apparently participates with NO INSURANCES. So if we wanted it covered, we’d have to self-submit for reimbursement at the out-of-network rate.
I thought The Mister’s head was about to explode. I couldn’t even contemplate what was going on as she handed me a piece of paper explaining this and stating that the lab charges a flat rate…$5,310.
I know some people pay this. But I’m fortunate enough to have insurance that covers it. In fact, I switched insurances from a much better plan to this plan just to get that coverage. So I’ll be damned if I’m going to forgo it for this science lesson guy.
And this doesn’t even go into the fact that I told them my insurance coverage when I made the appointment AND asked them if they participated. You think a friendly head’s up at that point would be appropriate.
We walked out calmly, without setting our appointment for our orientation….and without my damn medical records. I had to call later that afternoon to have them put them in the mail to me. Thankfully I received them back. Both copies I gave them. They had the audacity of hope to call me yesterday and try to get more info/schedule something. Um…no. Obviously if we haven’t called you to schedule this, we’re not interested.
After the appointment I was sure my face was going to pop off of my head. That’s how frustrated I was. Just beyond pissed. But eventually I calmed down and made an appointment at one of the places I originally intended on going for a second opinion, but cancelled because I thought this other place would be the shizznit, not just pure shit. That appointment isn’t until January 20th.
So yes, friends, yet again this whole thing has been put on hold. And yes, we wasted another morning. And yes, it’s frustrating as all hell. I just keep sighing deeply and breathing in new air, hoping that my persistence isn’t all for naught.
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Yesterday was supposed to be our first of at least two second opinions. It turned out to be a HUGE waste of time.
I made this appointment the week we found out FET 2.0 didn’t work. I think it was the 8th of December. The same day, I faxed in the paperwork to get my records from RE #1 sent to this clinic so that the doctor could review them. I was very clear about where to send them, when they were needed and what was requested. In fact, I used RE #1’s very own form to request the records. Given that the appointment was scheduled for the 19th, I did not see how 11 days was insufficient to send the records.
Fast forward to yesterday. We got to the new clinic at 10:30 and filled out some standard paperwork. Unlike the other places I’ve called for second opinions and RE #1, there was no intensive infertility paperwork to complete beforehand. I thought this was odd, but did not see it as a major issue. Instead, I put together a timeline from our perspective and the knowledge I had of test results and the like.
So I fill out the paperwork and we proceed to wait for our turn. The appointment was at 11, but we were not called in to see the doctor until 11:30. The medical assistant weighs me and brings me back to another exam room. Just as she’s about to start asking questions, she gives this comment:
“By the way, we didn’t receive your records from the other doctor. I just wanted to let you know.”
The Mister nearly had a heart attack. He instructed her to go call the other clinic and see if they could fax them immediately. He told her (and I reiterated) that seeing this doctor without our records was pointless. Further, he said that it would have been nice if they had told us this when we checked in at 10:30 instead of at 11:30 when they decided to bring us back. At first the MA tried to explain how this wasn’t her problem. Finally she left to go call RE #1.
She returned with the doctor about five minutes later who informed us that RE #1 had not sent the records and told MA on the phone that it would take at least an hour to fax them over as the doctor had to sign off on them. We explained to the doctor, who was pretty understanding, that it was pointless for us to meet with her without these records. She understood and gave us her card with her e-mail address to check with her before coming in for another appointment to see if she got the records.
So we left there around 11:45 with nothing accomplished. I take that back…I did accomplish getting so pissed off I couldn’t see straight. The Mister has a call into RE #1 to see what the deal was and to give them hell for screwing up and informing them not to screw up in the future. The last thing I want is to get to our next appointment on January 4th and that doctor to not have the records.
All of this reconfirmed my desire to leave RE #1 in the dust. If they can’t do something so simple (and required by law when requested) as to fax over medical records after receiving a release, then I can’t be bothered to be a patient there. This will all be compiled in a large letter detailing the reasons I will not be returning to their clinic nor recommending their clinic, but I can’t write that letter now. I just need some breathing room before I can do that.
In the end, I probably wouldn’t have stuck it out with this new clinic. It’s part of a larger practice that is an OB/GYN practice and I can’t take the bulging bellies and baby magazines that comes along with that territory. They have the best numbers in the state (and some of the best numbers in the country), but I cannot be part of a practice that lets someone sit in a waiting room for an hour before telling them that they didn’t receive records necessary for the appointment. Plus, numbers aren’t everything.
So yeah…this second opinion thing is going REAL well. I was hoping to have at least some new answers before Christmas, but it appears that isn’t happening. I can only hope that I can find peace to make it through the holidays in some relatively calm mental state.
That’s not too much to ask, right?
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Emotions are a real bitch. Wednesday was hard. But I expected it to be hard and I think that helped me get through it. And my way of getting through things usually means getting ridiculously OCD about things and getting organized. I started doing that Wednesday night with non-infertility things. Thursday, I hoped to set up my follow up appointment with my current RE and at least one second opinion appointment.
Not so fast. The first clinic I called for a second opinion was booked for the rest of December and hadn’t opened their January calendar yet. (Who does that?) So I had to give my information and wait. They ended up calling me back later in the afternoon to set something up. First week in January. I’m not good with waiting. I looked around and found another clinic that actually has the best numbers in the area, so I called there. Some idiot at the desk forwarded me to some random voicemail. Not thinking, I left a message. But later in the afternoon, I decided that I should call back. I got past the first set of prompts, but then the phone just rang and rang, every so often giving me the “someone will be right with you/thank you for waiting” line. Finally, I gave up.
I was pretty frustrated when I left work last night. I didn’t get anything accomplished and that’s how I deal with this kind of thing. It just brought all of my frustrations to the surface.
Thankfully, I was able to get a hold of someone at Clinic #2 relatively easily today and we have an appointment for the 19th. They could have done one next week, but I wouldn’t have had time to get my records from my current doctor. So that wouldn’t have been much help. My follow up with her is on the 12th (Monday).
Now I’m a bit weirded out—do I wait to request the records until after I meet with her or do I just request them now? Like, she should know that after 4 failed IUIs, two miscarriages and a failed FET that I’d be looking for a second opinion, right? But it just makes me feel weird for some reason.
I just want to get moving on all of this. I know that IVF is hard, but I know that it’s what we have to do. And I just want to move on from feeling like a failure to feeling like I’m at least doing something.
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I set up my acupuncture appointment for transfer day (well, as best I could not yet knowing transfer time) as well as one for tomorrow morning. Although this week started off relatively stress free, it has quickly become rather tense. I think I need the session tomorrow morning for my sanity.
But also, all of this keeps helping the sensation of the this-is-really-happening feeling deep inside. This isn’t a test run. This isn’t a wait and see. This is all set up and good to go. Drugs have been ordered, appointments have been set…the wheels are in motion.
I ordered my usual at Tim Horton’s today. A #3 combo—egg white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin with a large iced tea and a muffin as a side item. I realized that this was my last day ordering a large iced tea. Tomorrow I’ll opt for a medium or whatever they give me and after that it’s back to caffeine free items (for the most part—giving up chocolate is pretty much impossible). Little reminders.
I’m trying to be positive about this whole thing, much in the same way I went into IVF in February. It’s not a matter of “if this works,” it’s a matter of “when this works.” It’s risky to think that way. The downfall of a negative beta could send this way of thinking into a tailspin. But it’s so much better to go into something with the utmost belief in a much desired positive outcome than it is to speculate about the negative possibilities.
I have no doubt that Thanksgiving will be hard. I have different things to be thankful for than those I thought I’d be entering this holiday with just a few short months ago. But I’m a bit more resilient now.
I’m ready to take this chance again. And that’s a good thing.
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I had another RE visit this morning during morning monitoring. My lining was already at an 8. When I was getting up, the doctor told me that the transfer would probably be this coming Monday.
Wasn’t it just last week that I was complaining about this taking too long? And now, all of a sudden, it’s a week away? Don’t get me wrong—I’m not complaining. I’m just kind of startled. I thought that if it was going to be anything, it’d be late next week. It’s just one of those things where you schedule something tentatively in your head and then it’s actual date turns out to throw you off track.
So I continue the Estrace today and tomorrow as usual and then add the Progesterone in Oil shots. (Side note: they were going to try Endometrin suppositories, but I told them that wasn’t going to cut it because I had trouble with progesterone levels during the IVF pregnancy and she switched it right away upon reviewing my chart.) I go back to the RE Sunday morning to check my lining and then on Monday for the transfer.
I am doing this very carefully this time. I took both Monday and Tuesday off. While I don’t plan on engaging in bed rest, per se, I am going to take it very easy for those two days. I just don’t want to rock the boat. I think I did too much after my last transfer which contributed to the early loss.
I also called the acupuncturist to get that set up again. Actually, I called her last week and talked to her husband who said she’d call me on Friday. She never did. I guess now I have the transfer date anyhow, so it’s not a big deal. I just called and left another message. I’d consider going to see someone else if she weren’t so convenient and knowledgeable about the process.
Given that this week is a short work week due to the holiday, I think Monday is going to come rather quickly. Of course, now that I’m expecting it to, it probably won’t.
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